SHELL ROCK, IOWA — Flint Hills Resources, an ethanol ingredient supplier based in Wichita, Kan., announced Oct. 27 it has begun shipping its NexPro® protein ingredient to pet food and animal feed manufacturers globally.

NexPro is an extracted protein from whole stillage, a co-product of ethanol manufacturing. Flint Hills Resources installed new Maximized Stillage Co-Products (MSC) technology at its Iowa plant earlier in 2020, becoming the company’s second facility equipped with MSC technology licensed by Fluid Quip Technologies.

“This is an important milestone for our company,” said Garland Krabbenhoft, plant manager at Flint Hills Resources’ Shell Rock ethanol plant. “The NexPro protein ingredient we create here from Iowa farmers’ corn will be used in animal food production around the world.”

Typically, whole stillage is processed into distillers corn oil and distillers grains for use in animal feed, the supplier explained. Using MSC technology, Flint Hills Resources is now able to extract and refine whole stillage to offer a protein ingredient for animal food products.

“The addition of MSC at Shell Rock is a testament to our employees, and to our customers whose corn we’re now able to transform to create even more value,” commented Nathan Underwood, commercial manager at Flint Hills’ Shell Rock ethanol plant.

Flint Hills Resources cited data from the United Nations that claims global food demand will have grown 60% between 2010 and 2050, and meat production is projected to grow 70% during that same period. To address this growing demand, the company will utilize the whole stillage co-product from its ethanol production to offer an alternative protein source for the animal food industry.

The ingredient is comparable with traditional plant-proteins such as fishmeal, corn gluten meal, soy and corn protein concentrates, which will be its main competitors in the market.

“Global protein demand continues to grow and so does the need for new feed ingredients,” said Mark Murphy, general manager of global protein marketing and trading for Flint Hills Resources. “NexPro, a 50% protein ingredient, provides poultry, aquaculture, pet food, dairy and swine customers a higher-value alternative to their existing feed ingredient options.”

The company stated its NexPro ingredient will be sold to pet food and feed manufacturers locally, nationally and internationally.

Flint Hills Resources operates five ethanol plants in Iowa (Arthur, Fairbank, Iowa Falls, Menlo and Shell Rock), and one ethanol plant in Fairmont, Nebraska. Together, these facilities put out more than 725 million gallons of ethanol, over 1.5 million tons of distillers grains, and more than 125,000 tons of NexPro annually.

Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.